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huge sheet of ice


region which includes lands stretching from the Valley of Mexico to Costa Rica in Central America; farming began 9,000-10,000 years ago in this region


ancient people who lived near present-day Vera Cruz, Mexico; they built a far-reaching trading empire which began around 1200 B.C. and lasted about 800 years


the first planned city in the Americas, it had a population of between 120,000 to 200,000 people; it was known as the Place of the Gods and reached its height around A.D. 400


ancient people who built a civilization in the steamy rain forests of the Yucatán Peninsula; they traded throughout Mesoamerica; they mysteriously abandoned their cities by the A.D. 900s


ancient people who seized what is now northern Mexico as the Maya left their cities; these warrior nomads built the city of Tula northwest of present-day Mexico City; they tightly controlled the trade in obsidian


control of all (or almost all) trade or production of a certain good


people who lived in the dry coastal desert of what is now Peru; they ruled from about A.D. 100 to A.D. 700; they irrigated their desert homeland with water from the rivers in the Andes mountain ranges


ancient people who lived in the Andes mountain ranges of present-day Peru; they built the biggest empire in the ancient Americas


capital of the Inca civilization founded in A.D. 1100


civilization that thrived from about A.D. 300 to the mid A.D. 1300s; these people planted corn, cotton, beans, and squash between the Salt and Gila rivers; dug canals to carry water to their fields


people who lived in an area that is now present-day New Mexico; they lived in huge apartment-like houses carved into cliffs, called pueblos; they farmed and controlled the trade in turquoise


the largest Native American city near the Mississippi in what is now southwestern Illinois; they built pyramid-shaped mounds with flat tops; the largest is called Monk's Mound; largest city in Mesoamerica (pop. 30,0000


Mayan word for "flat region"; located in present-day Guatemala, these dense forests nearly blocked out the sun; it contained swamps and sinkholes which provided a year-round source of water


one of the greatest cities in the world, it was built by the Aztecs and it served as their capital and center for trade; it was constructed on a swampy island in present-day central Mexico.[means "place of the prickly pear cactus"]


the greatest Incan leader, he built the largest ancient empire in the Americas, which stretched north to south about 2,500 miles; he built the estate of Machu Picchu, located thousands of feet high in the Andes


rope with knotted cords of different lengths and colors (Inca used this)


dome-shaped home built by the Inuit


type of sun-dried mud brick


a loose union of several groups or states (type of gov.)


Native Americans in the Woodlands who set up a league which included five groups: Onondaga, Seneca, Mohawk, Oneida, and Cayuga; they wanted to end the fighting among themselves

Christopher Columbus

Italian sea captain who convinced Spain's rulers that he could reach Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean; he landed on an island in the Caribbean in 1492


island which is present day Haiti and the Dominican Republic; Columbus landed there during his first exploration in 1492


Spanish soldier-explorer in the Americas


the part of Spain known for its poor soil, blistering hot summers, and icy winters

Hernán Cortés

Spanish conquistador who, with a small army, conquered Montezuma and the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán

Montezuma II

Aztec emperor who dreamed that a huge army would one day invade the Aztec; he feared Cortés was a god coming to reclaim his land and did not immediately fight the Spanish; he was killed during later fighting


A Mayan woman given to Cortés by the Tabascans; she spoke both Mayan and Nahuati, the language of the Aztec; the information she gave Cortés helped him form alliances to defeat Montezuma


disloyalty to the government

Francisco Pizarro

Spanish explorer who captured the Inca empire in Peru; Pizarro's conquest opened most of South America to Spanish rule; marched with Balboa; not of noble birth


emperor of the Inca; Pizarro had him tried in a military court; he was sentenced to death in 1533


to look for; to attempt to find


complicated; involved


group effort to work together to accomplish same purpose

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